Shirley Ellis

Born 1941.

Biography

Shirley Ellis (born Shirley Elliston; 19 January 1929 - 5 October 2005) was an American soul music singer and songwriter of West Indian origin. She is best known for her novelty hits "The Nitty Gritty" (1963) (US #8), "The Name Game" (1964) (US #3) and "The Clapping Song" (1965) (US #8/UK #6). "The Clapping Song" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.

By 1954 she had written two songs which were recorded by The Chords. Ellis was originally in the group The Metronomes and she went on to marry the lead singer, Alphonso Elliston. All her solo hits were written by her and her manager, record producer, and songwriting partner, Lincoln Chase.

Ellis had recording contracts with the Kapp Records subsidiary Congress and later Columbia and Bell Records, but retired from the music industry in 1968.

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